Tuesday, March 08, 2011


It is a sweltering day in the Summer of 1989. A rare day indeed. Its heat is powerful enough to stave off protests about turning on the a/c in my parents’ old Sentra. The milk chocolate colored jalopy was anything but satisfying but it did manage to get us from place to place safely enough. I am alone in the car with my mother; the only of her six progeny to ride with her on this day. Our destination unknown. This fact, it seemed, is the only detail to erode from my memory over the years.
My mom has just received a new magazine in the mail and, since I lacked the age or expertise to commandeer my parents’ car, my mother found solace in reading excerpts at traffic lights. It only seemed to whet her appetite for more. More time.
At one particular traffic light, at the busy intersection of Montana and New York Avenues in northeast Washington, DC, my mother pulls up slowly to the crosswalk, content to let the final few seconds of the yellow light leave its perch while the crimson eye took its post. Her intention is to savor the precious time allotted from the sentry that stood watch by delving into her magazine. She utters these fateful words to me: “Let me know when the light turns green, okay?”
I sit for a moment, relishing the responsibility as my mind zips around. I am bored and too comfortable in the label “precocious” at the time to follow directions. I think of how neat it would be to spook my mother, to see the look that compassed an “Oh, you got me!” phrase. I don’t know what that face looks like on my mother, but I want to.
But I then I think of how silly it is; how dangerous the implications could be. There is the punishment that would certainly come from it; the idea that this is not, in fact, a fool-proof plan. This is not worthy of the budding thoughtsmith I believe myself to becoming.
But just as I wrestle the stupid idea to the ground, the unthinkable leaps from the closing drawbridge that my mouth fails to be.

I feel shame. Heat. Wetness in the midst of my dry mouth. I see light…the sun beaming through the windshield. The tires screech. They tend to do that when they are brought to an abrupt halt. It’s typically called “slamming” on the brakes. My mother, I believe, did so much more than slam on them.
Her mouth is agape. She looks at me and loses words at the same time the smile leaves my face. I realize that there is no amusement in “Park” as I rub my finger across the capital “p” of the transmission shift.
I hear silence: the cry of a mother too disappointed to speak, too shocked to utter anything at all.
The echoes from the shock penetrate the windows. The whirring of the motor from the AC Unit in the car is the only respite; the only sound outside of the impatient blaring of the horns of oncoming vehicles.
The magazine she once held is under her feet. I have no idea what she was reading or what significance it played, only that it was where her attention was at the time my plan was hatched. It should have never been incubated. If that were the case, then it would have never been intimated.
I taste the acrid air, my head is hung low, realizing that the effort to crawl into a ball at this point would bring more attention to a little boy whose seemingly innocuous remark rendered him desperately chasing the inconspicuous.
Words do not pass. The remainder of the trip is in silence. I busy myself by slowly spinning the wheel on the handle of the car window roller. It feels firmer in my hand than usual. It helps to partially ensconce the blunder which plundered the joy from my mother’s afternoon.

Life sometimes doesn’t flash before your eyes. Sometimes it waits until after; setting up shop in the minute milliseconds that dwell between blinks. I learn about the tenuous nature of my existence; the passing of time and the true breadth of the gravity of my situation: the weight of which siphoned the stop out of “go.”

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


A writer's words are preciously precocious.
It is hard to choose one over the other-
They can be stubborn,

They can make you laugh, cry
sigh in disbelief.

They can make you rejoice, curse
and beg them to please come from underneath
That place where they hide so well

-That corner of the room between the drapes
and the agape door

where a spinster wielding eight legs
weaves tales of solitude

hoping to catch stranded dreams scurrying blindly
into the arms of the familiar.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Ferdinand's Pupil"

This evening I will be highlighting my foray into fiction with the closing ceremony of the "I Can Write Fiction!" workshop with Marita Golden. For the last eight weeks I have been blessed to take part in a community of writers who have a dream of being better at the craft that we felt we were called to do.

I thank God for the gifts and talents he has heaped upon me and I wanted to share with you the opening paragraph to the story I have in development entitled "Ferdinand's Pupil." I hope you enjoy it and that it whets your appetite for more.

"D’Artagnan Sylvester White always thought his name to be a cruel joke perched upon a dream. A joke because he felt his parent’s knew of the ridicule he would have to endure. A dream because he never felt that he could fill the shoes of the one after whom he was named. Plucked from the pages of The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, he was taught that names had a way of determining the destiny of the person whose identity they encompassed. He had trouble spelling his name and even identifying with the person whom his parent’s thought would embody heroism. Especially since the name he most often heard perched on the tongues of his friends and family was “Dart,” an abbreviated version of his nomenclature; a hastened attempt at velleity. What’s in a name? He mused. More than you can ever imagine."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

on Stars...

It's ironic that we breathe life into our hopes and dreams
On the death of a celestial beacon that once perched proudly in the heavens.
Anonymous until it performs its dying arc across the horizon-
The beauty of its yawn across the sky
Is lost on none whom dare
To gaze for answers
Among the faceless throng
Of granules of light.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


My eyes stood clenched-
Perched upon the precipice of precipitation
But no tears fell
No heart ached
Just the remnants of sun and sky
Drawn taut in my palms,
Peeking through the slits in my fingers
As I gathered together the pieces of daybreak...

The Meaning of Sacrifice

Those who know me know that I proudly wear my heart on my sleeve.  The love I have for my wife is unparalleled and I would do anything for her. With that being said, this story that I heard today on The Today Show was incredibly powerful:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39147750#39147750

As I watched the story, I became very aware of the frailty of life; the precious moments that we have which can easily be wrenched from our grasp through no effort or want of our own.  I thought about what went through his mind as he instinctively swerved the car so that he could bear the brunt of the impact; sparing his wife and unborn child and I thought about what he could not have possibly thought about in that split second- absence.

I'm pretty sure he had already discussed a list of names with his wife; one column of boys' names slightly longer as he dreamed of holding his child and promising the world to the curious eyes and the tiny outstretched hands that reached for the harbor of his face.  He would never have that.  His child will grow up knowing that his/her daddy gave up everything for the promise that lay in the two most important people in his life and, if given a second opportunity, he would gladly do it again.   Brian Wood made the ultimate sacrifice; committed the greatest act of selflessness that one could do.  What does this teach us?  Many things:

1. Love not only conquers, but covers all.
2. Giving your all is not an exercise in futility, but in humility.
3. Sacrifice is not calculated or coordinated; it's committed.

When you learn the meaning of sacrifice, you learn that your life is not your own and the decision to save a loved one is instinctual.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Remember Love...

We remember because it never left
We never knew the burden of its weight, its heft
Because it hardly weighs anything
It's light as a feather
Like the soles of my soul when I met her and
Subsequently being introduced to "forever"
-I can never forget her.

She said "Hi" to me and I was complete
Steadily staring at but the outline of her silhouette
While my heartbeats played a game of
"Percussion" roulette
Beating and risking their existence on a bet-

-Bet that I can make you happy
-Bet that I can bring you joy
-Bet that our daughter will have her mother's smile
-Bet his father's words will be in our little boy
-Bet that if you take this chance
And take my number in this moment

That in a few years or so we'll make the future a reality
And this "love" that we remember
Will be permanent.

We remember...
Because it's all around
Enveloping and developing us
Into light...

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Stretched out carefully to avoid being trampled underfoot;
I slipped out of the loop without communication.
I tried to keep above water and stay out of the street,
but I was helpless in your hands.
I was gathered together as you stretched,
tied and looped me until I bowed to your will
in the form of a promise; a reminder of something soon forgotten;
dismissed as commonplace, as merely